Case Study Instructions
Director’s Request for PCs
Completion of the Case Study will utilize (1) an MS Word Table, (2) an MS Access database, and (3) an MS PowerPoint Presentation
You will meet the Director’s requirements that are described on this page by creating and submitting a Word Table (Part 1), an Access Database (Part 2); and a PowerPoint Presentation (Part 3). These 3 assignments are due on separate dates. See the Course Schedule for due dates.
NOTE: the standard applications to use for these 3 assignments are those within Microsoft Office. MS Access is available only in the Professional OFFICE package. If you are a MAC user OR if you have absolutely no way to use a machine on which MS Access has been loaded, you may download and use OpenOffice/Open Libre – for the database project only. Please inform your instructor if you are going to use Open Office for the database assignment.
Instructions for installing Open Office can be found in “Open Office – Database Alternative for Mac OS X” under the Office Resources topic.
Case Study – Director’s Requirements
Your office has outgrown its old desktop machines and is in the market for new PCs, but would like some guidance on what to purchase. The Director wants to ensure that the office obtains PC machines that meet the requirements stated below. You, as an employee of a small educational company, have been tasked to buy 5 PCs and associated equipment for the office. You only need to determine the specifications for ONE PC, not five. The office will likely buy five of the same computer model/configurations you propose.
The Director has defined some capabilities that the PCs will need to have to ensure optimal performance. These tasks and system needs are collectively the office’s requirements. The requirements are as follows:
1. Create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and send and receive email.
2. Participate in online video conferences, web courses and forums (the Director is a part-time professor at a local university).
3. Create and edit audio and video files and share video and audio files via emails, instant messaging, and in chat rooms via mobile devices.
4. Create small databases to manage all audio, video and photo data.
5. Take high quality digital photos and videos and download them to the PC as well as scan and edit the photos and videos. Manipulate/edit various image and video formats (in the relevant table, please specify at least two image and two video formats that can be accommodated by your solution(s)). .
6. Print documents to include photo quality color printing.
7. Manipulate pdf files, including editing pdfs, conversion from pdf to Word and vice versa.
8. Transfer information (audio, video and photos) between PC machines.
9. Manage the Director’s schedule by using an online calendar and day planner.
10. Utilize the internet to make online purchases, conduct banking services and research new audio, video and photo editing methods using a broadband service (in the relevant table, please specify service provider).
11. Connect all required peripheral devices you deem necessary to the system unit.
12. Protect the PC and all components from dirty electrical power including under voltage (brownout or blackout) and overvoltage (power surge or spike).
13. Manage and protect the system, data, and information while working on the Internet including scanning all incoming emails, email attachments, and files downloaded from Web-based sources; firewall, virus and spyware (security) protection; and checking websites for phishing and fraudulent activities.
Your specification must address each of the 13 items listed in the requirements.
Case Study- Director’s Request for PCs using MS Word Table, MS Access, and MS PowerPoint
Case Study – Using MS Office 2010 / 2013 / 365
Please use the document “READ FIRST – Case Study Instructions – Director’s Requirements” for each of the parts described below.
Part 1: Specifications Table (MS Word)
For a review of the complete rubric used in grading this exercise, click on the Assignments tab, then on the title Case Study Part 1 – PC Specs (Word)– click on Show Rubrics if the rubric is not already displayed.
For the case study provided to you, create MS Word tables that identify and contain the hardware and software requirements to meet the director’s requirements. The MS Word document in its final form will include 6 MS Word tables. It will include a two-paragraph narrative summary that classifies the user type and identifies the PC category that will be recommended. The specific instructions are found in the table at the end of this file.
Students are expected to conduct external research to adequately address all aspects of the assignment requirements. It is suggested that students use a computer manufacturer’s site (i.e., Apple, Dell, Toshiba) to help in identifying all the components needed to meet the director’s requirements. Remember, although there are 5 computers to be purchased, you are required to configure only one, as the same one may be purchased for all 5 employees. Any outside sources should be correctly cited in APA style at the end of the table. Students will need to include specific requirements from the case study to show why each item is being recommended. Each element listed below must be incorporated into the assignment. Omissions will result in loss of points.
Make and model and description are required, when at all possible.. For example, if the solution suggested is a 32” IBM Monitor, say so. Do not just say monitor because that does not provide sufficient information for a purchase. It is not necessary, for example, to identify the make and model of a USB port.
You must also consider components that may be a part of a machine or device. For example, the System Unit table will require elements such as USB ports. The monitor and mouse are typically separate devices on a desktop, but on a laptop or tablet they are often integrated. You should identify the various forms of input and output for your computer(s) on the Hardware table, whether they are separate devices or integrated elements.
There should be sufficient detail in this case study for procurement/purchasing personnel to buy the systems. Details are crucial.
Don’t focus on web references as to where the equipment can be found, although you may include your source(s). Focus on a solution to specific requirements.
Do not ‘number’ requirements in your table, even though they are numbered in the “Case Study – Director’s Requirements’ document. In many cases there are several requirements expressed in a single numbered listing. It’s important that you are clear about which requirement is addressed by a specific piece of hardware or software.
All identified hardware and software and relevant requirements must be listed in the tables. Mentioning an item or a requirement in the two paragraph narrative is perfectly ok, but it must also be in the tables.
You are supposed to tie back your recommended specs to all of the original requirements. Spell out the requirements that apply to your selection of hardware, etc and do so in the tables. Your customer would not appreciate having to go guess as to which requirement is being met by your items.
Suggested layout for the tables (other layouts are possible):
Four columns: Group (Input, Output, Etc), Device, Requirement; then one row for each Device. Arrange your tables so that you don’t leave lots of blank rows. See the Sample Tables for suggested layouts.
Include details where it makes sense. For example:
Scanner. This isn’t enough information to tell what the device is capable of. The customer wants to know how it’s “tricked out”. What model is it? Is it an All-In-One or standalone (why?)? How much RAM does it have? Does it have wireless capability? Can it accept camera memory cards? What resolution can it handle?
Adapter Cards. Your customer wants to create and edit high quality photos and videos. This usually means you’ll need a beefed-up graphics adapter. Be prepared to answer these questions: What model is it? How much RAM does it have? Is it integrated or discrete? This means you need to understand a little about graphics cards. Integrated means it is a chip (not an actual card) that is part of the motherboard. Typically, integrated video is ok but not as powerful as discrete video cards. These are actual adapter cards that have lots more circuitry and dedicated RAM than the smaller integrated chips. So they are more powerful and better for the customer’s requirements.
Monitor. While the software applications actually enable video creation and editing, the hardware enables the “high quality” requirement. You can hook up a display to the standard VGA port on the computer. However, the newer machines come with HDMI ports, which enables High Definition displays. If the recommended desktop or laptop has an HDMI port the user can get full 1080p on the video display unit. These specifications may satisfy the customer’s requirement to create and edit high quality digital photos and videos.
Ports. Everybody needs ports, right? I just described an important one – HDMI. How about Ethernet, SATA, FireWire, USB (2.0 or 3.0), media cards? Think of the data transfer/exchange requirements and what kind of speeds are necessary to make them work effectively.
External Storage. The customer may want users to exchange data quickly. Are CDs or DVDs the way to go? What about USB flash memory cards? Or some kind of network storage?
Here are the specific instructions:
# Requirement Points Allocated Comments
01 Open and save an MS Word document with the following name:
“Student’s Last Name Specs”
Example: Smith Specs
Set normal text to Arial, 12 point.
Create a Title Page which shows title, your first and last name, course and due date. 0.2 This is the font in normal paragraphs. Heading and title fonts may be a larger size.
The title must be
Specification for the Director
Center the title on the page
02 Use a footer to create page numbers for all pages except the title page.
Place the page numbers on the right side of the footer. 0.2
Take a look at the Sample Tables for ideas on how to best lay out your tables.
03 Table #1 – Create a table that identifies the manufacturer, type (desktop, laptop, tablet) and model of computer being recommended for purchase. If you are recommending a computer that is being built from components rather than purchased as a unit, indicate that in the type column. The table must be labeled “Recommended Computer.” 0.5 Remember that the requirement is to identify and configure only a single computer.
04 Table #2 – Create a table that shows all of the required Hardware devices. The table must be labeled “Hardware Devices.” User requirements are posted in the case study. 0.1
Remember to include any items that might be integrated with the system you have chosen.The table should have all the necessary columns, rows, and column headings to show the following:
05 • Input Devices – Identify each device type, including make/model, and show which specific user requirements are met.
0.5 For example, you might include the following information in your table to describe one Input Device:
Input Device – 1.2 Megapixel video camera, model, from xxxx supplier.
Requirements met – create video files.
06 • Output Devices – Identify each device type, including make/model, and show which specific user requirements are met. 0.5 Make, model and description are required.
07 • Communication Devices – Identify each device type, including make/model, and show which specific user requirements are met. 0.5 Make, model and description are required.
08 • Storage Devices – External (including portable) storage devices and show which specific user requirements are met 0.5 Make, model and description are required.
09 • Other Peripheral Devices – Identify each device type, including make/model, and show which specific user requirements are met.
• 0.5 Make, model and description are required.
10 Table #3-Create a table that shows the various required System Unit Components. The table must be labeled “System Unit Components.” 0.1
The System Unit Components must reflect the type of system identified for purchase by the Hardware devices table.
The table should have all the necessary columns, rows, and column headings to show the following:
11 • Processor – Include type and clock speed and state how processor type and clock speed meets the Director’s specific user requirements. 0.5 Identify manufacturer – Intel, AMD, Apple, etc.
12 • RAM – Include type and amount and state how RAM type and amount meets the Director’s specific user requirements. 0.3 Type and amount are sufficient.
13 • Adapter Cards – Identify each type and show which specific user requirements are met. 0.5 Types sufficient unless an unusual adapter card is required.
14 • Ports – Include types, how many of each type, and show which specific user requirements are met. 0.3 Types and number are sufficient. Be sure to include all that are integrated with the system you are configuring.
15 • Storage Devices – Identify internal system unit storage devices, size of hard drive, and state how each storage device and the hard drive size recommended meets specific user requirements. 0.5 Types and sizes are sufficient. Remember, this is internal storage, including the hard drive.
16 Table #4-Create a table that shows the various required Application Software. The table must be labeled “Productivity Software.” Specific product names MUST be listed. 0.1
Review the user requirements to ensure that software has been selected to meet each need.
The table should have all the necessary columns, rows, and column headings to show the following:
17 • Identify types of software, recommended specific product names, and how this software meets specific user requirements. 2.0 Be sure to include product name and version.
18 Table #5-Create a table shows that the various required System Software. The table must be labeled “System Software.” Include one operating system and at least three utility programs. 0.1
The table should have all the necessary columns, rows, and column headings to show the following, and each component must be tied to the computers in your Recommended Computers table:
19 • Operating System – Identify a specific operating system and version 0.75 Identify company supplying the OS (Intel, AMD, Apple, etc.). Include version #. Identify to which computer(s) this component will be assigned.
20 • Utility Programs – Include at least 3 utility programs that do not typically come installed with the OS and state how each utility program meets specific user requirements. 0.75 Identify utility programs that do not come installed with the OS. For example, choose and include a particular security program such as Norton or McAfee, etc.
21 Table # 6-Create a table that shows the required Internet connectivity and Web-hosted applications and services. The table must be labeled “Internet Connectivity & Web Services” 0.1
Review what specific user requirements related to online work or file sharing that have been included in the Director’s list of requirements.
The table should have all the necessary columns, rows, and column headings to show the following:
22 • Identify the specific ISP that should be used for Internet connectivity. 0.5 ISP type meets specific user requirements in the case study.
23 • Identify the specific Web services that should be used. 0.5 State how the Web services that were identified meet specific user requirements in the case study
24 Write a brief two-paragraph narrative that categorizes the user type, identifies the category of PC (s) required, and summarizes your recommendations.
NOTE: There are 13 office requirements listed in the case study. Each one will need the appropriate hardware and software that will improve the productivity in the office. The users are the people working in the office that will be affected by the 13 requirements. The type of PC could be anything from a laptop to a server. It is essential that you connect the requirements with your recommendations. 1.0 Two well-written, concise and organized paragraphs not to exceed one-half a page. Place narrative after the title page but before the tables.
25 Grammar, syntax, punctuation, spelling, and APA formatting as necessary. Points WILL be deducted if errors are found in the summary or in the tables. 0.5 Proofread your entire file before submitting.
Part 2: Provider Database (MS Access)
As you recall, data is a collection of facts (numbers, text, even audio and video files) that is processed into usable information. Much like a spreadsheet, a database is a collection of such facts that you can then slice and dice in various ways to extract information or make decisions. However, the advantage and primary use of a database over a spreadsheet is its ability to handle a large volume of data and yet allow for quick access to the information that is desired.
Databases are everywhere now and impact our lives in a multitude of ways. It can accurately be said that “your life is in a database” or, more accurately, in multiple databases, and information about you (a retrieval of facts about you) is easily accessible. Your shopping history, credit history, medical history, even your driving history, is stored in one or more databases.
This exercise will introduce you to the basic building blocks of any database – fields, records, and files (also called tables). Although you will create a database with a single table containing a small amount of data about computer component Providers, the more applicable use of databases involves the creation of many tables linked together with a common field or “key.” Regardless of the size of the database, the data is stored in the same way – in fields which are combined to create a record. And those records are stored in a file or table. The data is entered into the field via a data entry form, and the information is extracted (to answer a particular question or need) via reports and/or queries. Note that Access uses the Field Size parameter in Design View to limit the number of characters or digits in a given field. Specific instructions for the project can be found in the table below.
Create a provider database and related reports and queries to capture contact information for potential PC component providers that might be used to purchase the equipment your specified in your MS Word project – the PC specifications..
This MS Access database assignment has the following parts:
1. a simple database table to hold provider contact information; some of the required fields in the table require that a Caption be added to the field characteristics. The Caption will be displayed in the report that is to be generated.
2. a simple database form that can be used to enter data into the database table;
3. two simple database reports that can used to present the data as information; and
4. a separate MS Word document answering questions about the database.
All aspects of the assignment will be evaluated according to the following criteria and overall professional, business-like appearance. This would include clear readability and formatting for both screen and print-based output.
Element # Requirement
Points Allocated Comments
01 • Launch MS Access and open a Blank Access database.
• Save the new database with the following name:
“Student’s First Initial Last Name Provider Information”
Example: JSmith Provider Information 0.1
Create a table with all the following fields and settings: (each letter indicates a separate field)
02 A. Provider ID (autonumber)
Set as primary key and is auto number 0.1 The Provider ID field must be set as the primary key (*). If the Provider ID is not the primary key, 0.05 points will be deducted. If you have properly set the Provider ID field as the primary key, it will be numbered automatically (Auto Number).
03 B. Provider’s Company Name (text) 0.1
04 C. Provider Contact-First Name (text)
D. Provider Contact-Last Name (text) 0.2
05 E. Billing Address (text)
(this is the street address)
F. City (text) 0.2
06 G. State (text—limited to 2 characters) 0.15
07 H. Zip Code (text—limited to 5 characters) 0.15
08 I.Phone number – area code (text—limited to 3 characters)
J. Phone number (text)
(Use xxx-xxxx format when entering the data) 0.25
09 K. YTD Orders (currency)
(At least one record must contain an amount when you enter the data) 0.1
10 L. Preferred Provider (Yes/No)
(Criteria must be provided in the Description field (Design View) which identifies what constitutes a Preferred Provider. Base your criteria on YTD amounts.) 0.15
11 All fields names are fully visible in Datasheet View (no truncated entries) 0.1
12 Name the table as follows: Provider Information Table 0.1
13 Use the Form Wizard to create a form that uses all the fields from the Provider Information Table. 0.2 Let the Form Wizard guide you through the completion of the form
Use a Columnar layout.
14 Select a theme – do NOT use the default theme which is Office.
15 Name the form as follows:
Provider Data Entry Form 0.1 You should be finished with the form at this point. It is best if you allow the Form Wizard to open the form to view and enter information.
16 Ensure that all field names are fully visible in each field in Form View (no truncated entries) 0.1
17 Use the form to enter data into the table
• Enter all the appropriate data for five providers (such as Best Buy, CDW, and CompUSA.)
• Mark at least one Provider as a Preferred Provider based on the criteria you identified in the Preferred Provider field.
It is important to complete all data entry prior to moving on to create the report. You should also use the table to manually review and audit all entries to ensure accuracy and consistency prior to report setup. If find any data entry errors or inconsistencies, simply go back the item in the form and make the appropriate corrections. Missing data or including data that should be ignored will result in a deduction. 1 When you are finished, the Provider Information Table should contain all the contact information for the providers. You may need to create fictitious information for contact names –other field information should be available from the provider’s company website. For YTD Orders simply input fictitious values. Marking at least one provider as Preferred should be based on criteria for YTD Orders (those that exceed a specified YTD amount that you determine). That criteria must be included in the field Description for Preferred Provider.
The form will automatically populate the Provider ID for you because this is your primary key. Provider’s Company Name will be your five providers.
Ensure that all entered data is fully visible in each field in Datasheet View of the Provider Information Table (no truncated entries) 0.1
19 Use the Report Wizard to create a report from the database that uses the following fields, presented in the following order from left to right in the final report:
• Provider’s Company Name
• Provider Contact First and Last Name
• Complete Address (Street, City, State, Zip)
• Phone Number (including area code field) 0.3 Let the Report Wizard guide you through the completion of the report.
Use Landscape orientation
Make sure that you do not select the Provider ID field.
20 • Set up the report to be sorted by Provider Contact-Last Name.
Ensure that the order of the fields is still the same as identified above: company name, first name, last name, address, phone number.
21 • Ensure that all field names and entered data are fully visible in all areas of the report (no truncated entries)
• Select an appropriate style that improves readability 0.1 You must apply a style OTHER THAN the default style which is the Office theme.
22 • Name the report as follows:
Provider Contact Information
Your report will include information for all your Providers. 0.1 After you name the report, you should allow the Report Wizard to let you preview the report. If you created the report correctly, you should see the items sorted alphabetically by Provider Last Name. (Only one Provider Contact Information report should be submitted for grading or points will be deducted.)
23 Create mailing labels for the provider list: Include
• Contact person’s full name
• full Provider’s company name
• full mailing address.
Check the look of the report in Print view. 1 Be sure to view your mailing labels to ensure correct spacing of the name, address. etc. The format should appear as a typical address on an envelope.
24 • Save this report as “Provider Mailing Labels.” 0.1
25 Create an MS Word document.
• Set it to
Arial, 12 point.
Save the document as:
“First Initial Last Name Access Questions”
Example: JSmith Access Questions
Create a Title Page which shows your project title, your first and last name, the course id and the due date. See comment to the right for the project title.
In your MS Word document, answer both of these questions in 4 to 5 well written sentences.
1. Your Director has approved the purchase of the computers that you recommended in your response to the Case Study – Part 1, the specification for the computers. The data in this database you created here is rather limited. What fields would you add to the database you created in this project that would help you in choosing a supplier or suppliers to use to fulfill the purchases?
2. Could you use an Excel spreadsheet to replicate the same activity that you completed for the Access database project? What advantages or disadvantages might using Excel have over using Access in this Case Study?
0.3 points of the score for this element is assigned to writing mechanics.
The title must be
PC Specifications for the Director
[insert your first and last name]
[insert course id]
[insert due date]
When submitting your project, be sure to attach BOTH the Access database (the table, form, and 2 reports will be included in the single database file) AND the Word document which contains answers to the two questions above.